A 2-D finite element model is presented for the melt growth of single crystals in a microgravity environment with a superimposed DC magnetic field. The model is developed based on the deforming finite element methodology and is capable of predicting the phenomena of the steady and transient convective flows, heat transfer, solute distribution, and solid-liquid interface morphology associated with the melt growth of single crystals in microgravity with and without an applied magnetic field. Numerical simulations were carried out for a wide range of parameters including idealized microgravity conditions, the synthesized g-jitter and the real g-jitter data taken by on-board accelerometers during space flights. The results reveal that the time varying g-jitter disturbances, although small in magnitude, cause an appreciable convective flow in the liquid pool, which in turn produces detrimental effects during the space processing of single crystal growth. An applied magnetic field of appropriate strength, superimposed on microgravity, can be very effective in suppressing the deleterious effects resulting from the g-jitter disturbances.
Nasa-centerGlenn Research Center; Marshall Space Flight Center